Thousands of pensioners have taken to the streets of Athens to demonstrate against cuts to their pensions and health benefits.

The protesters’ march reached the Ministry of Finance, where a delegation presented their demands to officials.

Greece’s three bailouts since 2010 have repeatedly taken aim at the pension system. Cuts have pushed nearly half its elderly below the poverty line with incomes of less than €600 ($715) a month.

From January 2019, elderly Greeks face losing up to another €350 ($416) per month when new pension cuts are implemented.

A government minister confirmed earlier in the week that pensions under €1,000 will also be included.

Deputy Minister for Social Security Tasos Petropoulos told Greek television on Sunday that the exact amounts would be known in October. He also estimated that 25-30 percent of pensioners would be hit by the new cuts.

The cutback ceiling may be set at 18 percent, but many of the pensioners, especially older ones, will see reductions in primary and supplementary payments that may be equivalent to one to three pensions per year.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has also admitted that the new year will find Greek pensioners seeing cuts in their payments.

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